High-flying New York attorney general lawyer is FIRED after claiming Letitia James’ right-hand man was racist towards black firemen
- Former Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske, who was removed from his position last October, broke his silence Monday, insisting his firing was retaliation from the office.
- Oleske's claims involve a cover-up – carried out by James' colleagues to conceal José Maldonado's alleged involvement in multiple questionable ventures
- Appointed one of Letitia James' first acts as AG in 2018, Maldonado is James' top staffer following the resignation of Chief of Staff Ibrahim Khan on Friday
A top employee at the New York attorney general's office has claimed he was fired for trying to expose misconduct by a top prosecutor.
Former Senior Enforcement Counsel John Oleske broke his silence Monday after being removed from office in October, insisting the maneuver was merely retaliation for two years of concerns about Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado.
Appointed in one of Letitia James' first acts as AG, Maldonado is James' top staffer – especially after the sudden resignation of Chief of Staff Ibrahim Khan on Friday.
Khan expulsion followed an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct, after which a former aide filed charges against James, claiming her office covered for Khan.
Oleske's claims, broadcast on The everyday beastallege a similar cover-up — one carried out by James' AG colleagues to conceal Maldonado's alleged involvement in multiple questionable ventures, as well as an ongoing, previously unreported lawsuit filed by the city's Black Firefighters Association.
John Oleske, the former senior enforcement attorney in Letitia James' office, was fired in October — and now insists the maneuver was merely retaliation for two years of concerns about one of his senior executives.
The allegations are particularly delicate for James, following the sudden resignation of her chief of staff last Friday over allegations that he engaged in sexual conduct. Afterwards, a former assistant filed a lawsuit claiming James helped cover up the behavior
The lawsuit, filed in 2020, accuses Maldonado — who has risen through the ranks of New York's legal sphere over the past three decades — of racism.
According to The Beast, the filing alleges that he repeatedly took actions that “blocked the progress of African Americans” during his time as Associate Commissioner of Compliance at the New York Fire Department — a position he held from 2012 to 2014.
At the time, the fraternal organization was headed by then-President John Coombs — the person who filed the claim in the previously unreported court document.
When contacted by the Beast about the still-pending lawsuit, James' Office dismissed the allegation, telling the publication that it was unverified and was filed in an attempt to support the certification of a class action lawsuit that a judge ultimately denied to issue.
But that's not the full scope of Oleske's claims — which further allege that Maldonado worked relentlessly to conceal his past involvement with a prominent golf nonprofit whose board included one of Brooklyn's most notorious slum landlords.
The landlord, Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corp. (NEBHDCo), filed for bankruptcy in 2019, according to court documents, which also showed more than 4,000 violations and $4,222,504.20 in arrears.
Additionally, tenants of the 1,000 apartments spread across Bedford-Stuyvesant claimed their rental units were delipidated and plagued with rats, broken locks and more.
The boss of that now-defunct LLC was Jeffrey Dunston, one of the board members of the Brooklyn Golf Alliance.
Oleske's claims involve a similar cover-up — one carried out by James' colleagues to conceal Chief Deput Ag José Maldonado's (pictured) alleged involvement in multiple questionable ventures, as well as an ongoing lawsuit filed by the city's Black Firefighters Association that accuses him of accuses racism
Speaking to The Beast, Oleske revealed how he thought the arrangement could become a problem if Maldonado ever had to investigate Dunston's company — something that ultimately happened in 2018 when then-Public Advocate James Dunston last mentioned as the ' second worst' private landlord in the entire city.
Four years later, Maldonado left the golf group after failing to disclose his status as a board member in the nonprofit's annual tax returns from 2017 to 2021.